Senior Spotlight: Harshita Pachigolla


Senior Harshita Pachigolla at the park during Prom pictures last year.

Rachel Velasco, Op/Ed & Announcement Editor

17-year-old, Harshita Pachigolla is a determined, hardworking JFK senior.  As a true Mustang, she has participated in many school activities such as Dance Exchange, Gaming Unplugged, Astronomy club, WeEvolve and National Honor Society. Outside of school, she partakes in Kuchipudi, an Indian classical dance, and tutors other students who struggle with certain subjects. Being given the opportunity to interview her was very interesting, especially to see how other seniors are handling the near end of their high school journey. 

In which ways did COVID impact your high school experience? Would you want to re-do those years that you missed out on? 

I think the majority of [my] tenth and eleventh grade were taken from me and I feel like a lot of bonding time with the people around me was taken away. It also impacted my education since I was not able to study as well; I think the online schooling was just tiresome. I probably would have taken more classes I would’ve enjoyed like fashion or anatomy.

What’s one thing you’ll miss about high school? And why is that?

I think I’ll miss the friendships I’ve made cause, to be honest, I’m not going to be friends with everyone I’ve been friends with now, right? And I feel like there are just so many memories that I’ve held on to since I grew up in the same area. I grew up with the majority of people that go to our school, and I feel like as soon as we leave, that’s the end of this chapter and there’s just this feeling of belonging here that I think I need to recreate when I go to college.

What plans have you made for after high school? Are you excited about them?

We’re planning on moving, so that’s it, and no it’s not fun. We plan on moving in the summer, I might go to Rutgers, still trying to decide where to go, so there’s that. My dad said we can get a pet after we move, so I’m making a peer list of what animals I like, and yea, I’m excited [about] the pet but not about the moving.

What kind of mark do you plan on leaving for future generations? What do you want to be known for?

I guess I wanna be known for discovering something, but I wanna go [into] the psychology field, so I wanna be known for maybe something that has baffled people for years and just figure it out, I think that’d be pretty cool. I guess I just want people to, you know, South Asian representation in America, that’d be pretty nice. 

In your job field, what is most important to you that you fulfill? 

There [are] 3 things: one, I want to help people understand that mental health is not as dubious as it is, and I want people to learn more about mental health because it’s like a really taboo topic in some certain communities. So I obviously wanna help people understand about themselves and help them live a better life, and then obviously I wanna discover something – find something new.

How would you describe yourself 10 years from now? What do you wish to accomplish at that point in your life? 

I wanna travel. I want to be a cat mom. That one cool aunt that’s not married, but has a bunch of money. I hope to get my Ph.D. by that time and maybe start my own clinic, and there’s a few other things but they’re just random. 

Are you excited to graduate in just a few months? Do you feel prepared?

No, not at all. I’m terrified. I’m not prepared whatsoever. I step into college, and I’m like what am I doing?

What piece of advice would you give to upcoming seniors? 

Start your college research early, don’t start last minute like I did. Every chance you get, research about your college, and like literally go on Reddit and just be like, “why do you like this college?” I’m literally researching Reddit right now. There’s the usual advice, don’t get hung up on people cause as soon as you walk into high school, I feel like your entire friend group kinda changes. People mature so you’re not gonna be with the same people forever, and you just need to accept that, you just have to grow.